Author Archives: Lara Govendo

What to Do When Depression Strikes

What is that heaviness on my chest that feels like a ton of bricks, for which the only relief is bawling my eyes out? Ah yes, I remember you. The raw, real emotions that creep in the shadows of night, depression is a monstrous hitter. It knows how to…

How to Keep Your Growth Game Strong

September is Self-improvement Month. It’s a timely reminder to stay woke on my growth game. Stagnation is not an option for me. It often leads to complacency, which then leads to murdered dreams. With my new lease on life, I do not have the luxury of staying the…

Transplant Anniversaries Acknowledge Trauma and Triumph

Transplant anniversaries are hard for me. And they’re wonderful. They’re sad, then great again. Up, down, and all around seems to be the cycle of my emotions. These anniversaries affect my body, too. It’s as if I’m reliving the days leading up to my transplant all over again. I…

A Giant Win After a Big Loss

After a monstrous letdown, we need a win. Those of us with chronic illness need reminders to keep on keeping on. The glimmer of hope for better days is necessary to move forward. Rarely do we have a whole day that is good, so when we do, we cling…

Plan A Didn’t Work — Now What?

I open my eyes, and the walls around me blur like a mirage. I whisper through my post-intubated raw throat: “Did it work?” My nurse replies: “No, they weren’t able to fix the problem.” Preliminary tears well up in my anesthesia-drunken stupor. She must be lying, I think…

I Don’t Always Wear the Badge of Bravery

In my previous life (pre-double-lung transplant) I was the bravest I’ve ever been. Before my transplant, the most important piece of my identity was bravery. I was brave in the face of death countless times. Post-transplant, my courage level has shifted into fear, anxiety, and reservation. How do we…

I’m No Longer Resisting a Rest

Earn your rest. Earn self-care. Earn taking care of yourself. The list is endless for the unrealistic standards forced on us by society. The United States is driven by an obsession with productivity levels. Taking days off is portrayed as weak, a lack of trying, and laziness. Where is the…

How I Regained My Independence During the Pandemic

As restrictions from COVID-19 lift ’round these parts, my urge to get back to business as usual has intensified. I’m lucky to live in a state that’s been less affected, so I dared to ask my favorite doctor the burning question: “Is it safe to grocery shop again?” I…

Let’s Unite to Ditch the Charade of ‘I’m Fine’

Confusion over how we “should” react to suffering wreaks havoc in the mind, often triggering a shame response. We so often utter the words, “I’m fine,” though that performative response is far from the truth. Inside, we cry out for help. The cultural norm’s expectation is to function without our…

The Story Behind Awareness

Each time I meet someone new, CF pours from my mouth. It has become impossible to negate that intricate piece of who I am. Cystic fibrosis isn’t my whole life, but it has evolved me into the person I am today. May marks Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. In…


Featured Column

How to Ask for and Offer Help

A banner for Kate Delany's "Breathe and Believe" column that depicts a pair of lungs with flowers blossoming from them.
In times of need, we may not know how to ask for help or offer it to others. Columnist Kate Delany shares helpful tips on how to do it.

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